Move over, EV Smart Car, here comes your granny—the Ford Comuta! Two test models of the tiny (80 inch long) electric car were built by Ford in 1967 and demonstrated in the U.S. and Britain. Powered by batteries located in the wheel hubs, the Comuta’s top speed was a mere 25 mph.
Six months prior to its introduction to the press in 1967, Ford president Arjay Miller said that electric cars like the Comuta “could be available in five to 10 years.” According to the New York Times in 1967,
The major advantage of any proposed electric car is that it gives off no smog-producing fumes. But Detroit automakers claim improvements in their standard engines will eliminate the fume problem over the next few years.
Got right on that problem, they did. The Times also noted that another “possibility being considered by Ford is a car that carries an ordinary motor for highway driving and electric motor for city movement”—which of course only took another 37 years for Ford to produce.